Roast Gressingham Duck Breast, Endive, Potato Fondant and Orange by Simon Attridge, Executive Chef at Gleneagles
People often feel a bit drained after the festive holidays. They’ve had too much to eat and drink, too many late nights and the last thing they want to face is the prospect of the long winter ahead. For me, though, winter’s natural larder is still bursting with flavour and I enjoy the opportunity to light the fire, cook something hearty, filling and comforting and spend time with friends and family. Winter food is exactly what we need to sustain us through the bleak midwinter months – the comfort, warmth and depth of flavour providing a welcome tonic to the darkness and the long, cold days.
While wild duck is only in season from October to December, Gressingham duck is available all year round and is renowned for its rich taste and its meaty texture. Duck is also extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. Many see it as an extravagance because weight for weight it has less meat than chicken or turkey but, because its flavour packs a punch, a little goes a long way.
This recipe is a fantastic twist on that classic dish, duck à l’orange, which many now see as a bit of a 1970’s cliché, along with chilli con carne and chicken kiev – but there’s a good reason dishes become household favourites!
The red wine sauce is a superb accompaniment to the rich duck and fondant potatoes, while the sweet and sharp orange reduction cuts through the richness, giving the dish the perfect balance of flavour. This is a great winter dinner party main course recipe and will see you through even the bleakest winter days!
Roast Gressingham Duck Breast, Endive, Potato Fondant and Orange
6 Gressingham duck breasts
6 red potatoes
600g baby spinach
6 medium carrots
250ml orange juice
250g pre-prepared red wine sauce (see ingredients and recipe below)
Salt and pepper, to season
For the endive:
6 baby endive
150g white chicken stock (good quality bought stock/stock cube)
1 orange, zest and juice
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs lemon thyme
For the red wine sauce:
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
300ml red wine
300ml white chicken stock
300ml brown chicken stock
To make the dish, cook the fondants and endives as described below and do not refrigerate them. Prepare carrots and place on an oven tray and make the orange reduction. Prepare the duck as directed below and whilst the duck is resting, cook the spinach and warm all other ingredients.
1. First, prepare the endive. Cut the endives in half, peel down the leaves if they are too large. Add all of the ingredients to the pan and top up with enough water to cover the ingredients. Simmer in a pan until the endive is cooked and then drain and return the endive to the pan. Caramelise the endive in the pan and then set aside.
2. Next, prepare the duck. Trim the duck breast and score the skin in several straight lines vertically. Seal the duck in the hot pan, skin side down until golden brown, turn over and sear the other side. Place the duck on a tray and cook in an oven, skin side down for approximately 6 minutes at 175°C then set the duck aside to rest (this will serve the duck pink).
3. Next, make the fondant potato. Peel the red potatoes and cut into 2.5cm thick discs. Using a knife, trim into an oval shape (similar to that of the potato) approximately 7cm in length at the longest point, peel around the edges to create a curved effect. Take a heavy based pan and add 1cm layer of hard butter over the base and then add the potatoes on top. Cover the potatoes with either white chicken stock or water, season with salt and cook on a medium to high heat until the stock/water has reduced and the butter has caramelised the potatoes.
4. Now prepare the orange reduction. Add the juice and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid until it turns syrupy and then set aside.
5. To prepare the spinach, wash the baby spinach and pick out the stalks. Cook it in a frying pan with a little oil and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Next, prepare the carrots. Peel and trim the carrots into 4cm batons. Cook in boiling water and then cool. Slice in half (long ways), colour and warm through in a pan with butter, oil and a touch of water.
7. Now, make the red wine sauce. Peel and dice vegetables all to the same size, crush the garlic cloves and cook off in a thick-based saucepan with a touch of vegetable oil until golden brown. Add the red wine and reduce the sauce by half, add the white chicken stock and cook until it reduces by half. Add the brown chicken stock and reduce again until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
8. To serve, plate the spinach and endive first. Slice the duck breast and place on top of the spinach. Add the carrots and potato fondants to the plate, pour over the red wine and orange sauces and serve.
Source : HeraldScotland